2023 Round: New illustrators featured on the ASA Style File

We are delighted to announce that 20 new illustrators have joined the ASA Style File, following the 2023 round of submissions.

Applications for illustrators wishing to be featured on the ASA Style File opened for submissions on 6 September 2023 and 20 October 2023. This round of ASA Style File submissions have been assessed and curated by our expert assessors Lucinda Gifford and Matt Shanks, who shared their comments on the assessment process below.

The new illustrators (in alphabetical order) are:

Triandhika Anjani, Suzanne Barton, Alyssa Coombs, Mel Corrigan, Robin Cowcher, Kim de Haan, Claire Duffy, Bron Esteban, Sarah GiddyMichèle Heibel, Neema Iyer, Imogen Joy, Chere Koh, Anna Kovacs, Michelle Mountain, Caitlin O’Dwyer, Merryl Parker, Ella Rousseau, Jo Thompson and James Tyrell.


Browse the new illustrators today!


Assessor Comments

It was a privilege to view the new crop of Style File folios. Many of the portfolios demonstrated a strong understanding of digital techniques, as well as lively composition, emotion, charm and engaging storytelling elements. It was wonderful to see examples of work with eye-catching colour palettes, strong characters and accomplished handling of different media.

I would encourage the unsuccessful illustrators to keep making work and to apply again. Some folios just needed a few more solid examples. Keep thinking about your intended employer, and focus your folio on their needs. For example, a 32-page picture book would have consistent characters on each page and multiple compositions. A book cover or editorial design would have a striking palette, a strong concept, respond to the accompanying text and be highly finessed. And a graphic novel or comic would need to convey narrative flow, drama and (often) humour.

For children’s illustration, confidence with drawing characters (especially human) is vital. Studying anatomy, using strong shapes and adding lots of movement can prevent stiff or hesitant drawing here.

These days, too, final work is usually presented digitally. So even when working traditionally, illustrators still need to photograph or scan their work, and clean it up digitally before presenting it to the client.

If a composition feels empty or dull, don’t be afraid to change it, to experiment or to start again. Don’t let your layout confine you – the illustrator is in control!

Finally, there are exciting opportunities in publishing for illustrators at the moment. So keep practicing your craft and remember how far you’ve come. All the best for your future!

  • Lucinda Gifford


It’s been a privilege to get such easy access and visibility to a new crop of Australian image makers who will continue to shape our vibrant visual landscape; whether that’s digital or traditional making, cartoons, comics, children’s or editorial.

Putting ‘judgement’ on any folio review is difficult but there were some commonly shared characteristics that made some submissions stronger and more compelling than others this year. The first is craft. The second is cohesion.

On craft – the stronger submissions demonstrated the artist’s range, consistency and understanding of the fundamentals of image-making: things like perspective, colour, line, form, space, texture, and proportion. This wasn’t a matter of box-ticking to ensure each one of these fundamentals were present and obvious but rather seeing the artist’s understanding of them through their work – their confident use (or their intentional absence), of these fundamentals. After all, it is the relationship between these fundamentals that all contribute to communicating the feeling of the image, not just its subject.

To those who are looking to improve their craft – working to understand how to use these fundamentals will make your craft stronger. Experimentation and play is key here. Try ‘re-making’ one of your images using only line? Or, use only black and white? How does the feeling of the image change? Does it make your vision stronger or weaker? Does it feel more or less like you? Do you discover a way of making an image you’ve never thought of before? Learning through this experimentation and practice will help hone your craft and, over time, will provide you with the insight you need to confidently choose how you construct the feeling and intent of your images. The knowledge of these things always comes through in the work.

On cohesion – it’s natural for someone who’s is trying to ‘break-in’ to an industry to want to demonstrate how broadly their skills apply; that they can be hired for any job that any one has in mind, as long as it’s illustration. There were many folios that showed this: single folios demonstrating comics, life-drawing, children’s work and editorial, a couple of images of each. Whilst it’s logical to want to demonstrate one’s range to try and broaden one’s market in an attempt to maximise who their clients could be (and thus their income), it can inadvertently have the opposite effect. It can leave a potential buyer confused about the illustrator’s skill in the specific purpose they’re hiring for.

To those who are looking to improve their cohesion – pick your audience; not based on where you think you’ll make the most money but based on the images you actually make. If you’re comics artist, your audience is comics editors who focus on things like storytelling/narrative, character, and drawing consistency. If you’re an editorial illustrator, your audience is often a magazine editor who is looking for conceptual thinking in your work – not just one great idea for one image, but seeking to understand whether you do it consistently and with whatever brief you’re thrown in whatever subject.

Trying to balance your artistic voice with commerce is never easy. They often go together like oil and water. To those who were successful this year, congratulations. I look forward to seeing your work amplified through the visibility that the StyeFile brings.

To those who were not successful – by working on your craft and cohesion over the next 12 months, your work and your folio will only get stronger and I look forward to seeing your super-charged and focussed folios flood the Style File applicants list next year.

  • Matt Shanks

About the Assessors

Lucinda Gifford is the author and illustrator of many well-loved books for kids. In the 90s, Lucinda studied architecture in Scotland, where she learned to draw fancy buildings and moody scenery. Many years later, she put some of her best drawings in a folio and started looking for work illustrating children’s books.

Lucinda Gifford has since illustrated over 30 books, eight of which she has also written. She works from her studio in Melbourne’s north and especially enjoys making books about chickens, wolves, castles and magical creatures. Lucinda loves her new job and plans to write and draw for the rest of her life, or until her hand drops off, or both.


Matt Shanks is an internationally-published and critically-acclaimed author/illustrator of over twenty picture books, several of which have been awarded CBCA Notable Books. He has collaborated with some of Australia’s most loved writers including Jackie French, Jimmy Barnes, and Peter Helliar. Matt is a two-time fellow of the May Gibbs’ Children’s Literature Trust, an Australian Literary and Numeracy Foundation ambassador, and works primarily in watercolour. He currently lives on Boon Wurrung country, Victoria, with his partner and cat.